I have been debating if I wanted to write about Bill Cosby or not. I asked the publisher. He said, “Go for it.” I am. Send hate mail to the publisher, please.
I first became aware of Dr Bill Cosby when I was in fourth grade. I was reading his autobiography in class. I'm guessing I got it at the Scholastic Book Fair.
As I read, I was laughing aloud during quiet reading time; the teacher told me to be quieter. I laughed aloud, again, and sent across the hall to a second-grade class. Supposedly, a loss of status, fourth grade to second grade, but I didn't care. I still had the book.
In 1965, Dr Cosby became the first African-American actor to receive star billing in a television show. The show was “I Spy,” co-starring Cosby with Robert Culp. Supposedly, they were Pentagon secret agents, roaming the globe as an amateur tennis player and trainer. The show lasted three seasons, ending in 1968.
The first television show I saw starring Dr Cosby was, "The Bill Cosby Show." It ran on NBC from 1969 to 1971. Cosby played a gym teacher, Chet Kincaid, who was forever being bothered by his family because he thirtysomething and single. It lasted two seasons, with the big conflict being that NBC wanted to use a laugh track and Cosby didn't.
Dr Cosby starred in the first two seasons of the PBS series, "The Electric Company." He created and voiced the animated series, "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," based upon characters he used in his stand-up routine.
It was 1984, when NBC debuted "The Cosby Show," with Bill as Dr Cliff Huxtable and Phylicia Rashad, as his lawyer wife, Claire. The trials and tribulations of the parents and their five kids reflected what the country was going through for eight years.
The Huxtables were a very well off Black family, something that not often shows on American network television. It was the number one show for five of its eight seasons. It also spawned a spin-off show, "A Different World," produced by Dr Cosby.
Imagine my surprise, when in the last couple of weeks accusations started flying, again, about alleged actions he took decades ago; subsequently, the allegations were all discredited. It seems that every ten years or so, dirt starts flying around about alleged drugging and raping of women.
My first thought was, did his wife of fifty years, Camille, know any of this. If so, why did she stick around? If not, in what bubble was she hiding?
Not one of these women pressed a case when it first happened, in the 1960s or 1970s. In 1997, Dr Cosby ostensibly paid off one accuser to be quiet regarding an affair they had in the 1970s.
Is Dr Cosby a serial cheater or a serial rapist that takes advantage of his stardom and, allegedly, drugs women into doing things they normally wouldn't do? Are these women that are coming out of the woodwork, now, doing it for their long overdue fifteen minutes of fame or to "get even" for actions that supposedly took place years, even decades, ago?
Dr Cosby denies the allegations leveled against him, although he refuses to make any statements, personally. His attorney labels all of them ridiculous, unsubstantiated and fantastical. Kai El-Zabar, executive editor of “The Chicago Defender,” a prominent Black newspaper, says Cosby is experiencing “carless, dangerous [reporting that] creates a landscape for fraudulent slander.”
El-Zabar adds she dislikes “media crucifixions,” especially of “noted celebrity, comedian, actor, producer, director, civil rights activist, educator and humanitarian,” such as Cosby. “The media never tells the full story.” As for his silence, El-Zabar thinks Dr Cosby has retired from the silly fights of life, such as accusations renewed to benefit the career of another comedian, Hannibal Buress. (19 November 2014.)
Let's face facts. Dr Cosby is now a 77-year old man that probably has the same problems most men his age have, including an enlarged prostate and erectile dysfunction (ED). Did his physician prescribe Viagra for him?
Maybe it's time for Dr Cosby to fade into the sunset and let all of this calm down. He continues to grieve the random murder of his only son, Ennis, in 1997, on a freeway ramp in Los Angeles, as he tried to change a flat tire on his car. Dr Cosby needs to enjoy his "golden years," with his family, before something serious takes him down.
After all, he probably has more cubits than does God.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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